By Tongai Mashonga
The Zimbabwe Under 19 Cricket team is preparing for the international stage of the World Cup slated to start next year January.
The team recently played Midlands based Midwest Rhinos in two friendly games at Kwekwe Sports Club over the Easter holiday.
Rhinos won the first game on Independence day after fielding a much stronger side on Good Friday they lost by 183 runs as U19 players ruled the roost as they set to cement their places in the team.
The current U19 selected players will play friendly games against all franchise teams as they prepare for the U19 World Cup in South Africa next year in January.
Observer Sport spoke to U19 coach Prosper Utseya and Dilip Chouhan who is the manager of all national teams.
“I am grateful with the opportunity given by Zim Cricket this is our first match as part of our preparations for the U19 World Cup in South Africa we played Nigeria recently and won convincingly.
“I am expecting positive results while still learning from a coaching point of view will try our combinations and it’s part of trials for the players to pick themselves for the world cup team.
“We are looking at developing these players to a full package ready for the world cup.
“Through the team manager we are organising a tour to India in August and Zimbabwe Cricket are organising a triangular series against
South Africa and New Zealland in December weeks before the world cup as warm up games.
“At the world cup we will play to win with a positive mind set if we play our best cricket we will do better than last time,” he said.
As the U19 players put up a brilliant show from the middle on Good Friday Chouhan was very much impressed with some of the players.
“I am beginning to know the players through their ability to play cricket,” he said.
“We are weak on the bowling department. I am sure by the time we submit our team we would have identified the right people.
“Practice is essential the more we play the better. We are looking forward to touring India in August and would be able to know if we have the right people it’s not simple to get the best players,” said Chouhan.
Currently there are 25 players in camp. Utseya and his technical team will trim the team to 20 and name their final 15 man team to the World Cup by end of November.